Wednesday, 19 March 2008

19th March

I’ve had quite a lot of response to this blog and a few people have asked about my skin and if I have any regimes. First I want to say thanks to those who commented on my skin saying it was good. Makes a change from people talking about my boobs! We all focus too much on our flaws so I’ve recently been trying to think about my good bits and your compliments have helped. It’s easy in this superficial world to get absorbed in our bad bits. Pictures of girls in the media don’t help, giving a false impression of what a woman should look like. Remember, we have Photoshop nowadays so no-one’s as perfect as you’re led to believe. To be honest though, bad skin isn’t one of my flaws. I rarely get spots apart from those hormonal ones on my chin just before my period. What I do get is blocked pores around my nose when I have a series of drunken nights, stumbling in and falling asleep before thinking about removing my make-up.

I now keep some Simple face wipes by my bed for those occasions. The most important thing when it comes to good skin is washing and moisturising morning and night and avoiding wearing make-up as much as possible. I only wear foundation 2-3 times a week. I wash with Clinique face soap. It’s just a bar of soap and cleans so well. It costs £12, so not the cheapest but it lasts for ages and ages. Then, if I can be bothered, I use Clinique clarifying lotion. It comes in 3 strengths so ask the lady (or gay guy) which one’s best for your skin type. It costs £23, I’m a sucker for shiny labels and brands but if you’re more sensible than me or on a budget buy some witch hazel from your local chemist. It costs about £2 and is the main ingredient in Clinique’s clarifying lotion (other ingredients are alcohol, water and colouring so it really does make sense to use witch hazel as it’s the main active ingredient!) It smells funny but so does clarifying lotion so don’t worry, it stops smelling once it’s on your skin. You just put it on cotton wool and wipe over your face. You’ll be amazed at the dirt that comes off.

Finally, I moisturise. I’ve just bought Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair because it was voted In Style magazine’s best buy. You wear it under your moisturiser. It’s meant to be an amazing anti-ageing product and you can wear it in the day as well. It came in a set with Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Eye Recovery Complex for £40. Pretty expensive but a lot cheaper than buying them individually. I haven’t seen any results yet but I have nothing bad to say and I guess I’m not meant to see results as it just protects your skin from ageing. After this I use Estee Lauder Day Wear Plus, which I love. Don’t worry, I’m not working for Estee Lauder! It’s just a coincidence that I’m using mainly their products at the moment. Anyway, Day Wear Plus provides a great base for your foundation and smells great. It also contains an spf 15, which is really important. I always ask for samples to try before I buy. You can get samples over the internet from the brands’ websites. Don’t worry if you’re on a budget, as long as you wash your face properly and apply a moisturiser with spf I think you’ll be fine. It’s only recently I’ve been splashing out on expensive products (other than Clinique soap which, as I said, lasts for ever) and my skins always been fine.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

5th March

I’m going to Tenerife on Friday for a Sun Page 3 shoot so I’ve booked myself into my local beauty salon to get a St Tropez spray tan. I always get one before a shoot if I can. I use St Tropez because I like the golden colour it gives. I’ve tried Fake Bake and California tan but I always go back to St Tropez. I only get a thin coat to avoid looking Tangoed and also because it comes off less patchy. I don’t know what Chantelle Houghton has been thinking recently with that overly orange tan! Although I’m slightly addicted, if I’m honest, fake tans actually really do my head in! I’ve had so many disasters. It doesn’t actually matter if a model has a tan or not because due to my best friend Photoshop, you can be made to look browner, but I still like to get one as it boosts my confidence and makes me feel sexier on a shoot. I walk in the salon feeling all pale and ill-looking and walk out feeling pretty damn hot ☺ ! It’s amazing what a difference it can make. Even with no make-up and my hair scraped back I feel so much prettier.

There are a load of bad things I could say about spray tans, though. The most annoying thing is that you have to wait 10 days before you can apply your next tan because you have to wait for it to fully come off to avoid the next tan going on patchy. The problem is that the tan only looks good for 3-4 days and then starts to come off in some places faster than others, for instance where my bra touches my skin, leaving me with patchy boobs. It’s a nightmare arranging when to get a tan done to avoid having a shoot on a patchy day. A make-up artist once told me that Dove body wash strips fake tan off your body but as I’ve always used and loved Dove bath products I dismissed it and carried on using my favourite shower wash. It was only the other day when I ran out of Dove and had to use some Radoxbody wash that my friend had left and found that the make-up artist was actually right all that time ago because my tan lasted so much longer!

Everyday self tans like Johnsons holiday skin etc are good for some people but not if you’re a model. I would strongly recommend not using DIY self tans if you’re a model as they can get a bit patchy, and retouching patchy, streaky tans is a photographer’s nightmare. A lot of girls use sunbeds but I’ve stopped to prevent regretting it when I’m old and wrinkly or worse. Sun beds are so dangerous. I do use them a few times before a holiday, though, to prepare my skin. When you get a spray tan you have to leave it on for 8 hours minimum before washing it off so I always book the tan as late as possible in the day, so I can do nothing once it’s on apart from watch Eastenders and go to sleep. Oh, another tip, wear an old tracksuit as it comes off all over your clothes and although it washes off I wouldn’t risk it. Also, wear something loose to prevent it rubbing of as much as possible.

18th February

So I went for the colonic! Two words… never again!! Although many people swear by colonic hydrotherapy, most doctors disagree with it saying it can damage you internally. I decided to try it anyway in the hope that it will cure my bloating. Colonics supposedly help with many problems from IBS to asthma! Who would have thought that pumping water up your bum would help you breathe!? Very strange.

Anyway, the results: if anything I felt more bloated after the treatment. It didn’t have the desired effect and I definitely won’t be going again! So here are the gory details… You lie on your side while the therapist puts a tube up your bum. You then have to very uncomfortably turn onto your back still with the tube up. After a strange stomach massage the water is pumped in. It’s the most bizarre feeling ever! As the water comes in, gas passes out causing a very strange bubbly feeling in your belly. The water’s changed from hot to cold (can’t remember why, I was so scared I wasn’t really listening to the woman wittering on). The change in temperature only added to the weird thing that I was having done to my body. The water passing through your body causes the muscles to contract, which hurts and kept making me feel like I was going to poo my pants causing me to feel very uncomfortable and embarrassed! But then I’d remember that I was meant to be, erm…. Pooing myself! It was awful! It took a while for me to get used to the whole thing! I could say more but I won’t! It wasn’t a nice experience and I’d never do it again.

Monday, 3 March 2008

13th February

It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow. I missed my Nana's birthday last week because of work and I need to see my dad so I’ve booked a train to Manchester. Knowing I’m single, my mum decided to ask me if I’d like to join her in taking the kids to an ice skating show tomorrow evening! I may be single but come on, that’s just embarrassing. I’m going to sit in and watch a rom com with my fellow single Manc mates and eat a feast of Marks and Spencer's goodies, Its not just any food, it’s Marks and Spencer’s food ☺, that way I can be sad and lonely, and no one will know, well apart from the sad and lonely friends with me. Oh, and now you guys! Ok, so everyone knows but I don’t care, I’m happy single! Most men should carry a health warning! At this crucial time in my career I don’t want anyone distorting my focus. I’ve booked in for a colonic at a holistic therapy centre around the corner from my mum’s on Friday so I’ll fill you in when I’m back in London on Monday.

8th February

As you know I completely fell of the health wagon last weekend so I’ve been trying to make up for it ever since. I went to see my new personal trainer again and he’s actually really good. I told him my goals, to have a flat stomach and a great bum without losing any weight. He did a posture assessment by watching me do squats and told me that he can see I wear very high heels a lot. I have a slight shoe fetish and buy shoes that completely destroy my feet. I bought a pair of Cesare Paciotti shoes before Christmas, which actually trapped a nerve in my little toe! Ouch!! They look hot though ☺ Anyway back to my personal trainer. He said wearing heels has affected some of the muscles in my legs and unless I stretch them before I work out, I won’t get results from exercises like squats. It’s good to have a personal trainer. You don’t need one every time you’re at the gym but they’re good for advising you on what to do to achieve your goals. They’re also really useful for advising you on your technique, which is really important. A lot of gyms offer a free session with a personal trainer when you start. Ask them to write you a programme. It’s best to see a personal trainer again after a month or so to discuss your progress and change your programme accordingly and also so you don’t get bored doing the same routine. I’ve heard that if you do the same exercise for a long time your body gets used to it and stops improving so it’s good to keep trying different things. The other thing he showed me was how to do a plank properly. I’ve been doing planks for years now, they’re meant to pull your core in and strengthen your stomach. I’ve been advised to do them by personal trainers in the past and done them in Legs, Bums and Tums classes and a lot in Pilates. He asked me to do one and tell him what muscles I can feel working. I’d never thought about this before but I couldn’t actually feel my abs working at all even though my whole body got tired quickly. He said he’s trained loads of women who have done Pilates for years and that almost all of them don’t know how to do a plank properly and that even a lot of the teachers don’t know. So here it is… Lie on the floor as you would normally to do a plank, instead of pushing straight up into it, tuck your toes under, tense your leg muscles, then tense your bum and stomach muscles and lift it to shoulder height. Finally tilt your hips under a little to a neutral hips posture. If you push straight into it you’ll mainly feel it in your shoulders and arms. You should feel the difference. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Do 3 times.

4th February

My friends left to catch the train to Manchester this morning. We had a wicked weekend but I had severe PMT. Unfortunately, for my friends and family, I suffer really badly from PMT most probably as a result of my endometriosis. Endometriosis is a fairly common condition in which cells that usually line the womb are found elsewhere in the body. It affects approximately 2 million women in the UK. It’s rarely talked about and many people don’t realise they have it. I was a bit reluctant to mention it in my blog at first with it being such a personal subject for me, but then I thought about how common it is and how little it’s spoken about so I thought I’d spread a bit of awareness.
From a young age I’ve had really painful periods, which is a big sign of endometriosis. Although you can have operations to correct it, it never fully goes away and can cause infertility. I had fertility tests done when I found out I had it to calm my mind, and luckily found that I’m fine. Now I’m just left with horrendous mood swings for about a week before I’m due on. I get really snappy and irritable and often find myself crying my eyes out thinking my life’s a mess for no reason. It is really hard because I find it impossible to snap out of it once it happens. When it’s all over I think to myself ‘you idiot’, but at the time it’s like something takes over me that I really can’t control that makes me look at everything in a negative way.
It’s frustrating that PMT’s referred to as a joke a lot of the time when it can really mess up people’s lives. My mum avoids me near the time of my period now. I would too! She calls me Kevin from Harry Enfield And Chums. A couple of years ago someone suggested Evening Primrose Oil, B Vitamins and Magnesium to ease my PMT. It really does works for me, so if you suffer from bad mood swings at that time of the month, I strongly recommend it. If anyone knows of anything else that helps, please let me know. When I went back to Manchester over Xmas I forgot to take any vitamins with me so it’s my own fault I’ve been so Kevin-like.
Anyway, back to my wild weekend. The first night we went to see a comedian in Leicester Square, which was a laugh. Then we went to Chinatown for more alcohol and a load of greasy food full of sugar and salt. It was worth it, though! After that I took my friend to a gay bar in Soho (she’s recently come out of the closet), It was so much fun and when it closed at 3am, we went on to another club that stayed open until 6. I did all this with just a little bit of mascara on, a woolly hat and my Ugg boots! Not my usual club gear! We all had a brilliant night and I think the fact it was so spontaneous made it even better. They’re always the best, don’t you think? The next day we did it all again minus the comedy and with a little more make-up. We went to a club in the West End and had a really good night. The music was amazing, which makes a change because I was beginning to get sick of partying in central London due to the same crowd and commercial music you get every week. I know it’s naughty but once again we ended up in Chinatown after the club. We had a 3am Chinese fix. The next morning (Sunday) I dragged myself out of bed and made a full-on Sunday roast with all the trimmings. The girls were impressed and it was the perfect ending to a brilliant weekend.